Supermarkets are the epitome of capitalism, institutionalising consumers, pushing prices down to the detriment of small producers, reducing quality, stifling innovation … the list of crimes against food culture is endless. (See my blog a couple of years ago on what the supermarket model has done to book publishing.)
But consumers need convenience, not just lower prices and wider choice.
We now know there’s a climate emergency taking place. We’re picking over the bones of humanity’s legacy, and even the most optimistic scientific projections show that we aren’t going to save the planet without some serious lifestyle changes. Wholesale. Literally, everyone in the West. Right now. Or by 2050, we could be looking at a world where only pockets of rich people have survived. And no, this isn’t hyperbole.
So, how do you make a lifestyle change without it getting in the way of your actual life? I have an idea …
Continue reading “Ditch supermarkets and help the environment, the new old-fashioned way to change your lifestyle”
Fruit crumble is way easier than pie.
There, I said it. This may be sacrilege, especially to American connoisseurs of pie, but the British idea of a pie involves a lot of pastry—always—and sometimes … sometimes pastry is a place you just can’t go.
Crumble, however, is the easy bit of pastry without the iced water, the no-touch rule, the rolling and the cursing. Takes 5 minutes to make, 40 minutes to bake, and 10 minutes to eat, so as an emergency, no-fuss pudding, it’s close to perfect and hard to muck up.
Continue reading “Bramble (blackberry) and banana spelt crumble”
Summertime isn’t the most soupy time of year, I know, but if you get lucky with a large bag of veg and don’t have either time nor inclination to do something fancy with it, soup is a quick and easy tastebud treat.
I wouldn’t normally suggest a pepper soup, given that you’d probably need at least 3 packs of supermarket peppers at around £1.50-£2.00 each, but as hinted at above, I got lucky with a big bag of about 8 yellow and red peppers for £1. They were on their last legs, so you wouldn’t want to do anything more exciting with them, but this soup …. hell yeah!
Continue reading “Summertime pepper soup”
Gingernuts are the ubiquitous British biscuits that you dunk in a glass of cold milk or a cuppa hot tea. They should—in my opinion—be hot and fiery, spicy but not bitter, and as dry and crunchy as possible.
If you check the internet for a recipe, things can get a bit confusing as there are all kinds of strange ideas, including using stem ginger bits (posh!), treacle (erm…) and mixed peel (NOPE!) so today I gave Delia’s recipe a go, with a couple of changes. Her one-teaspoon of ground ginger seemed a bit ‘tea-and-biscuits’ or ‘ladies-wot-lunch’, and I personally want my mouth to catch fire as I eat. Also I abhor soft biscuits (those are cookies), so in my paranoia I did these on a lower temperature. Next time, I’m doing it with plain flour to see if they are flatter and crunchier still, but the results were good enough today.
And yes, I had to call the fire service for my mouth. You might want to tone down the ginger. Or not.
Continue reading “Nuts about gingernuts”
Even the fussiest veggies will resign themselves to a shitty cheese and onion pasty from anywhere. Well, for years I’ve searched for the perfect cheese and onion pasty filling, and today, having paid almost £2 for a fairly substandard effort from a chain bakery, I finally cracked.
Here’s my version of an almost entirely homemade cheese, leek and potato pie and pasty …
Continue reading “Cheese, leek and potato pies and pasties”
So … spiders.
Yesterday I found a spider ‘hugging’ a dead spider on the step leading up to my backdoor. I chased it away. No idea if it was eating or mourning it. I suspect foul play following a sexual liaison, but can’t confirm as my absence overnight precipitated the event.
Continue reading “Spiders. My love and hate for their fuzzy little backsides.”
Veggies take on new personalities when baked. It’s different from when you roast them; baked vegetables taste more strongly of themselves, without the smidge of smoky bitterness that comes with roasting.
Continue reading “Bean and veg crumble with an oaty topping”